Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt deflected sharp questioning from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, deciding to talk about his college baseball batting average when the senator mentioned Pruitt’s record suing the agency he’s been chosen to run.
According to Harris, Pruitt sued the Environmental Protection Agency 14 times as attorney general. Seven cases were resolved, and he lost six of them.
“I hear that you are a lover of baseball. What would your batting average then be?” Harris asked.
While she was talking about his unsuccessful lawsuits, Pruitt focused instead on literal baseball. He attended the University of Kentucky on a baseball scholarship and was a co-owner and partner of the minor league Oklahoma City RedHawks, later renamed the Dodgers.
“It was generally about .300, which is pretty good for a second baseman,” he said.
“Yeah, my calculation is it’s .142,” Harris fired back. “Moving on.”
Pruitt was elected attorney general of Oklahoma in 2010. In addition to his long record of criticizing the EPA and fighting environmental regulations, he is a close ally of the fossil fuel industry and has said the debate on climate change is “far from settled.”
Pressed during Wednesday’s hearing, Pruitt said he does not believe climate change is a hoax. However, he would not acknowledge that human activity is the primary cause of global warming ― something scientists almost universally accept.